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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Desha County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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James Murphy, attorney, Arkansas City, Ark. Mr. Murphy is now numbered among the influential and esteemed residents of Arkansas City, and justly so, for all will admit that he is a man who can be depended upon, one who endeavors to do his duty in every-day affairs of life, attending to his duties in a manner not calculated to attract unusual attention, but with a persistency and attentiveness that has redounded largely to his success, both professionally and personally. His parents, Daniel and Mary (Crowley) Murphy, came direct from Ireland to this country, about 1830 or 1831, and settled in Philadelphia, Penn. The father was there engaged in various business and industrial enterprises, and in 1848 removed with his family to Arkansas, settling near Little Rock, where he engaged in farming and stock-raising. He died in Little Rock, in 1863, during the occupation of that place by the United States forces. Of the seven children born to his marriage, only two are now living: James and W. J. The former was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1829, and came to Arkansas about February 22, 1848, living with his father, near Little Rock, for a short time. He had received the principal part of his education in the high schools of Philadelphia, and in 1850 he went to Little Rock, where he filled the position of deputy postmaster for some time, and until the post-office was burned, when he came very near losing his life. After this he took charge of the post-office at Pine Bluff, under Joseph Merrill, remaining there until 1856, when he moved to Desha County, where he received the appointment of local mail agent at Napoleon, Ark. This position he resigned just previous to the late war, and on February 15, 1860, he married Miss Sallie H. Mayson. He subsequently built a saw-mill back from Napoleon, on the Arkansas River, and this conducted for a number of years. In 1860 his brother, Daniel J. Murphy, at that time circuit clerk of Desha County, resigned the office and entered the first Confederate company of artillery from Napoleon, as first lieutenant of the company, commanded by Capt. H. C. West. After his brother resigned the above-mentioned position, James Murphy was elected to fill the office, and served continuously from 1860 to 1873. While in this office he was admitted to the bar, at Napoleon, in 1869 or 1870, having studied law previously under Judge J. C. Murray, at Pine Bluff. In 1874 he commenced practicing law, and in 1881 removed to Arkansas City. Mr. Murphy is also engaged in tilling the soil on the Arkansas River, in this county. The Judge is among the largest land owners in this county, owning several thousand acres, and is one of the largest stockholders in Desha Land & Timber Company, they being the owners of about 50,000 acres. He takes very little interest in politics, outside of local affairs, and has never aspired for office since vacating the clerk’s office. The Judge and D. A. Gates are engaged in the practice of law together, in Arkansas City, and do a vast amount of legal business, standing among the leading lawyers of Southern Arkansas. Mrs. Murphy is the daughter of the late Judge Ramsey L. Mayson, of South Carolina, and granddaughter of the late Hon. Felix Grundy, of Tennessee, attorney-general of the United States during President Jackson’s administration. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy are the parents of three children, all daughters, and both he and wife are members of the Catholic Church. He is a member of the Catholic Knights of America, and was supreme representative at the last supreme council held at Chattanooga, Tenn., in May, 1889. He was also one of the three delegates from the State to the late Catholic Congress, held in Baltimore, Md., in 1889.

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This family biography is one of 80 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Desha County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Desha County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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